Event planners, in search of inspiration for galas and special events, can find it in the Royal Diamond Jubilee Events that are taking place this year. For example, this weekend there have been four days of special events to mark the occasion in Great Britain.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne on February 6, 1952. Her coronation took place on June 2, 1953. For this reason, celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne are taking place throughout the year.
Queen Elizabeth is well known as a horse lover. On Saturday, she selected the Epsom Derby to kick off four days of festivities. Aerialists landed on the course and sky writers spelled "Elizabeth R" and "60." Sky divers and sky writers are bound to wow any crowd. The crowd of 130,000 enjoyed the racing event before Her Majesty presented the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup to the winner.
A day a the races, show jumping, polo or another equestrian event will add a royal touch to your next gala.
Street Parties and Picnics
During the weekend, 10,000 street parties took place across the United Kingdom. On Sunday, one of the poshest was the Piccadilly Big Jubilee Lunch Party near Fortnum and Mason. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, surprised the 500 party goers by joining in the festivities. Guests, who were seated at tables with red, white and blue decorations enjoyed a cream tea and a slice of the Union Jack sponge cake brought to the party by The Duchess of Cornwall. (The Duchess of Cornwall is the patron of Eden Project's Big Jubilee Lunch that encouraged people to mark the day by sharing a meal with neighbors. 3,000 participated in this initiative to raise funds for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.)
For your next corporate event, consider a street party or lunch to give back to the community.
On Sunday, the gilded Royal Barge floated for 10 kilometers along the River Thames, under the Tower Bridge before docking at at India Docks. From this vantage point, the Royal party viewed the 1,000 boats in the flotilla for the Royal Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. Twenty barges, rowboats, narrow boats, gondolas, kayaks and canoes from all over the world participated in the flotilla. Divided into 10 squadrons, many of the boats had orchestras and bands playing various styles of music from Handel's water music to James Bond themes. The largest was the Gloriana, a $1.5-million, 94-foot replica of a Tudor Royal Barge.
Bells peeled from Big Ben and church steeples all over London. There was a A 41-gun salute and a gun salute by the Beefeaters. Trumpeters' fanfare preceded the lifting of the drawbridge at the Tower of London to let the Royal Barge through. For the finale, atop the last barge, the London Philharmonic Orchestra played Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and other favorites. The Tower Bridge exploded with fireworks to mark the end of the pageant.
A river pageant is guaranteed to add a splash of color and excitement to any fundraising or corporate gala.
Today and tomorrow are extended bank holidays in the UK. Tonight, 2,012 beacons are being lit across Britain. A royal concert will take place at The Canadian Memorial across from Buckingham Palace at Green Park as a memorial to the over 110,000 Canadians who lost their lives during World War I and World War II. Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox and Sir Cliff Richard are expected to perform in this concert which will be broadcast live to the world on BBC.
After the concert, 4,000 fires will be lit from hilltops all over Great Britain and there will be a spectacular display of fireworks.
Outdoor concerts can involve the community and help build brand recognition.
There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday. After the services, a reception will take place at Mansion House for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Livery will host a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall. After lunch, the Queen will travel back to Buckingham palace in a formal carriage procession.
Horse drawn carriages are so rarely seen in North America that they are bound to attract attention at special events.
At Buckingham Palace there will be a 60-gun salute, an appearance on the balcony, an RAF fly-by, and a Feu de Joie, a cascade of rifle fire by The Queen's Guard.
On Wednesday the Queen will host a luncheon for Commonwealth leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Replacing your usual dinner event with a luncheons can help stretch an event budget and provide some variety.
Check out the The Diamond Jubilee: Events Calendar for other Royal Diamond Jubilee Events
To find inspiration from more Royal events, check out the Royal Channel on YouTube.
Looking for more options in UK? Check out United Kingdom Meeting & Event Planning City Guide.